Republicans are slamming President Obama for admitting “we don’t have a strategy yet” for defeating ISIS fighters terrorizing Syria and Iraq, saying it reinforces their long-held assertion the commander in chief has no coherent approach to fighting the extremist group.
“(The president’s remarks) just confirmed what we’ve been talking about really for almost two years: There has been no real strategy,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
NEWPORT, R.I. — President Barack Obama on Friday blamed dysfunction in Congress on a Republican Party he said is captive to an ideologically rigid, unproductive and cynical faction, urging like-minded Democrats to show up for November's midterm elections.
Addressing Democratic donors at a fundraiser in Rhode Island and another in New York, Obama said Republicans had realized that blocking all progress led Americans to become cynical about government. Republicans consider that "a pretty good thing" because they don't believe in government to begin with, Obama said.
NEW YORK — The New York Police Department said Friday it's under investigation for a second restraint-related death, this one involving a drugged, emotionally disturbed man four days before a fatal videotaped chokehold that fueled community outcry and led the department to overhaul its use-of-force training.
The medical examiner's office cited "physical restrain by police" as a factor in the July 13 death of Ronald Singleton, who went into cardiac arrest in an ambulance and died on the way to a hospital. It ruled his death a homicide.
SEATTLE — The Penny Arcade Expo is in full swing in downtown Seattle.
The fan-centric celebration of gaming began Friday at the Washington State Convention Center. The four-day long event is expected to be attended by 85,000 gamers and will include concerts, game tournaments, freebies and previews of upcoming titles. Tickets to this year's 10th annual PAX Prime event sold out less than two hours in May.
BONANZA, Nicaragua — Rescuers in Nicaragua raced Friday to reach at least 24 freelance gold miners trapped by a landslide, including 20 who have been located and have managed to communicate with emergency crews.
JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi woman was convicted Friday of murder in connection to illicit silicone buttocks injections that led to a Georgia woman's death.
The state attorney general's office said in a statement that a jury deliberated about five hours before finding Tracy Lynn Garner, 54, guilty of depraved-heart murder and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the 2012 death of Karima Gordon, 37. The murder conviction carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign manager resigned Friday amid fallout from a scandal in Iowa involving a presidential campaign he worked for in 2012. Jesse Benton said he didn't want to become a distraction as McConnell tries to win a tough re-election campaign in Kentucky.
"This decision breaks my heart, but I know it is the right thing for Mitch, for Kentucky and for the country," Benton said in a statement.
Police are investigating the death of a 3-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a vehicle this afternoon on Hervey Street in Brockton, authorities said.
Casiam Modesto was struck by a vehicle at about 4:42 p.m. near the intersection of Hervey and Main streets, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said in a statement. The boy was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Cruz said.
The driver of the vehicle stopped and remained at the scene after the child was hit, Cruz said.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's acknowledgement the U.S. still lacks a strategy for defeating the growing extremist threat emanating from Syria reflects a still unformed international coalition.
The president is meeting with his top advisers and consulting members of Congress to prepare U.S. military options. At the same time, he is looking for allies around the world to help the U.S. root out the Islamic State group that has seized large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq.
"Any successful strategy ... needs strong regional partners," Obama told reporters Thursday.
NEW YORK — Quick! What exactly did President Barack Obama say from the White House briefing room about Syria, Iraq and Ukraine while dressed in the tan suit buzzed 'round the world?
Precisely. If you get all your news from social media.
Obama's summer fashion choice, not unprecedented among presidents — himself included — was the talk of social media Thursday. It was both defended as a perfectly appropriate seasonal look and criticized as too big and wholly unpresidential for such serious subject matter.
LOS ANGELES — The advocacy group for the adult film industry has called off a production moratorium after just a day because a performer's HIV test turned out to be a false positive.
The Free Speech Coalition said in a statement Friday that further testing showed that the porn performer does not have HIV, and tests of the person's private and on-screen partners also came back negative.
TACOMA, Wash. — A state judge said Friday that a small city can continue to ban state-licensed marijuana businesses, in a case with big implications for Washington's experiment in legal pot.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper issued the ruling after extensive arguments over whether Initiative 502, the voter-approved state law that legalizes adults' recreational use of marijuana, left any room for such local bans.
BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The Border Patrol says an agent shot at someone near the Texas-Mexico border who later identified himself as a militia member.
Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora said that agents pursuing a group of immigrants east of Brownsville on Friday came upon a man holding a long arm near the river. An agent fired multiple shots, but did not hit the armed man. The man then identified himself as a member of a militia.
An unknown number of militia members have come to the Texas border following a surge in illegal immigration.
LOS ANGELES — A 33-year-old slice of cake from Prince Charles and Princess Diana's 1981 wedding has sold at auction for $1,375.
The cake, still in its original white and silver presentation box, was sold online Thursday by Nate D. Sanders Auctions of Los Angeles.
With the box was a card stating, "With best wishes from Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince & Princess of Wales."
Auction house spokesman Sam Heller says the buyer is a private collector.
GUATEMALA CITY — Members of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group have been forced out of a village in western Guatemala after disputes with indigenous residents over cultural and religious differences.
Misael Santos of the Lev Tahor community says the Jewish group started leaving San Juan La Laguna on Friday after the town's Elders Council voted to kick them out the day before.
The high-powered legal team for accused terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wants to push back the start of the blockbuster Boston Marathon bombing trial nearly a year, according to a motion filed today in U.S. District Court in Boston.
Throughout the 80-page motion, Tsarnaev's lawyers argued that their client's case, set to begin Nov. 3, is being rushed to trial and said the scope of the investigation has "overwhelmed the ability of defense counsel to evaluate and respond to the government's case in the time allotted."
NEW YORK — After a three-day public tiff, American Airlines fares have returned to Orbitz.
Orbitz said Friday that it has reached an agreement with the airline that will allow it to continue selling American Airlines and US Airways tickets on its websites.
Terms of their agreement were not disclosed. The online travel company said that tickets previously bought on its sites are still valid.
Joan Rivers’ “condition remains serious” after being rushed to a hospital Thursday following complications during an outpatient surgery, her daughter said Friday.
“My mother would be so touched by the tributes and prayers that we have received from around the world,” Melissa Rivers told E! News in an exclusive statement. “Her condition remains serious but she is receiving the best treatment and care possible.”
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — Authorities say an SUV driver who struck and killed a father and daughter on a motorcycle in Easthampton was under the influence of narcotics.
Prosecutors and police said Friday that the motorcycle driver, 62-year-old Edward McGrath of Holyoke, was riding with his 29-year-old daughter Brittney McGrath of Brooklyn, New York. The McGraths were heading north on Route 5 just after 3 p.m. Thursday when police said a southbound car driven by 45-year-old James Ainsworth of Springfield crossed into their lane and hit them head-on.
DAKAR, Senegal — Liberia says it will open up a slum in its capital where thousands of people were barricaded to contain the spread of Ebola.
Information Minister Lewis Brown says lifting the quarantine Saturday morning will not mean there is no Ebola in the West Point Slum.
But authorities feel confident they can screen for the sick and that the community now actively fighting the disease.
The slum of 50,000 people in Liberia's capital was sealed off more than a week ago, sparking unrest and leaving many without access to food or safe water.